As conscientious travellers, we are all aware of the negative impact our transportation needs can have on the environment. While there are many ways we can reduce our carbon footprint by our means of travel, there is also a lot that we can achieve to help save our planet when comes to what we take along on our travels. Here are a few helpful tips on packing to reduce your carbon footprint.
No harm beauty
For most of us the biggest problem when it comes to packing toiletries and beauty products lugging around the full-sized version of our essentials; face wash, toners, moisturisers, body wash, sunscreen, the list goes on. Conventional wisdom tells us the solution to this heavy and space-consuming dilemma is to purchase a second set of miniature versions of all of these. While this does save a bit of space in your suitcase, it does mean purchasing duplicates and doubling up on the plastic containers they come in. Is there a better alternative? Absolutely, they come in the form of solid toiletries and they are the answer to your plastic problems. These days you can easily find everything from your facewash, perfume and toothpaste in the form of solids, that can easily be popped into your toiletry bag without worrying about leaks.
Now when it comes to removing our beauty products at the end of a long day’s travel, most of us will reach for disposable makeup wipes as they’re a convenient and easy to pack solution. Unfortunately, most popular wipes aren’t biodegradable and just end up on a landfill and because they consist largely of polyester fibres, they can take decades to break down. Thankfully there is an equally-convenient, but far more eco-friendly alternative in reusable wipes. These microfibre cloths remove even waterproof makeup with just water. Not only will you be reducing the number of chemicals that comes into contact with your skin, you’re also doing a great thing for the environment.
Another travel essentials are sunscreen. It’s a no-brainer that you simply cannot skip sunscreen, especially while out exploring a new city, but the sad truth is that the active ingredient in most sunscreens it heavily contributing to the bleaching of the coral reefs. So next time you grab sun protection off the shelves, be sure to look for one that is clearly marked as ocean-friendly.
Keep it cool
Exploring can be thirsty work. Most of us would be surprised at how many times we purchase bottled water during a trip. From waiting around at the airport, to in-flight hydrating, and convenience store stops while out sightseeing, the number can be shockingly high. One of the simplest steps you can take on your eco-travel journey is pacing a reusable water bottle or travel mug to keep all those plastic bottles off the landfills. Similarly, plastic straws tend to creep into your day-to-day travel without you even noticing. We don’t have to dash our dreams of sipping a cocktail by the beach altogether, we just have to replace the plastic straw with a reusable straw or bamboo version. If the establishment you’re visiting doesn’t offer these, most of the travel straws come in a convenient travel carrier with a little cleaning brush.
Pack for the planet
Most of green travel comes from considering what we will be doing on our travels and how we substitute the single-use plastics associated with these activities. If you’re out souvenir hunting or scouring local markets for bargains, be sure to pop a cotton tote bag in your pocket. These convenient little bags fold up to fit in your palm, are easy to wash and can hold a full days haul.
If you’re a street food enthusiast, you know how many containers and plastic containers and utensils you can burn through in one trip. Most vendors will be willing to ack your serving into a reusable container, and you can forgo the plastic utensils by packing your own reusable bamboo alternatives.